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Cincinnati officer who fatally shot motorist charged with murder

A University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot a motorist has been indicted on murder charges.

Officer Ray Tensing is accused of killing 43-year-old Samuel DuBose during a traffic stop on July 19. The incident is one in a series of episodes that raise questions about white police officers’ use of force with black citizens.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph Deters said in a news conference that video of the incident from Tensing’s body camera, which was made public today, showed that Tensing had purposely shot Dubose. “This was without question a murder,” he said.

DuBose was driving south of the university when Tensing pulled him over for driving without a license plate. Video of the encounter shows Tensing repeatedly asking for DuBose’s license, which DuBose says he has but does not produce. DuBose then tries to drive away and Tensing yells “Stop!” before firing a single shot that struck DuBose in the head, killing him.

Gwen Ifill talks with Byron McCauley, part of the editorial board at the Cincinnati Enquirer, about what he learned today in the case of University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing.

The police report from the incident states that Tensing “was being dragged by the vehicle and had to fire his weapon,” The New York Times reported. Officer Eric Weibel, who arrived shortly after the shooting, wrote that Tensing’s uniform looked as though it had been dragged over a rough surface. Another officer also said he had seen Tensing dragged by the car.

The city is bracing for possible unrest after the indictment and release of the video and has cancelled classes at the university today.

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